Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers Report for Monday March 20th through Sunday March 26th.
The moon is at third quarter on Monday and will reach new moon next week so we'll have a waning crescent moon for all of this week.
Venus will be sinking towards the sun for most of the week and then will be in inferior conjunction with the sun on Saturday. After conjunction Venus will slowly start to emerge from the sun's glare in our morning skies.
Mercury is still moving away from the sun and will be setting over an hour after the sun by the weekend.
Jupiter is rising at 8:50 p.m. as it heads towards opposition in a few weeks. Saturn is up at 2:05 a.m. at midweek.
The vernal equinox for the northern hemisphere occurred at 5:29 a.m. Central Daylight Time marking the beginning of spring. The equinoxes are when the days and nights are roughly equal and the sun rises due east and sets due west. In the northern hemisphere, daylight hours will start to overtake nighttime hours until we hit the summer solstice in June. In the southern hemisphere, the reverse happens as they head towards winter.
Public viewing at the 16-inch reflector on top of Robert Lee Moore Hall is on Wednesday nights currently from 8:30 to 10:30 p.m. RLM is located on the southeast corner of Dean Keeton and Speedway. Take the elevator to the 17th floor and follow the signs to the telescope.
Public viewing at the 9-inch refractor at Painter Hall is on Friday and Saturday nights currently from 8:30 to 10:30 p.m. Painter Hall is located on 24th street about halfway between Speedway and Guadalupe and is northeast of the UT Tower. To get to the telescope, take the elevator to the 5th floor and exit to the left. Follow the 5th floor hallway to the end and take the staircase through the double doors on the left. Once you reach the 6th floor, go to your right and follow the signs up to the telescope.
All events are free and open to all ages and no reservations are required. Note that viewing times and availability change throughout the year so please check the schedule before planning a visit. Observing events are weather permitting. Please call 512-232-4265 for weather cancellation information, which is updated 30 to 45 minutes before the scheduled viewing start time.
Thank you for calling the University of Texas Skywatchers Report.